Fly-tipping is one of the more common crimes committed in rural areas, causing serious issues for those who are left to deal with it.
The Key Facts
- Fly-tipping is the only crime where the victims (private landowners) have a legal responsibility to dispose of the waste
- Fly-tipping affects 67% of farmers and is estimated to cost them £47 million every year
- The average cost to clean up an incident is £800
- Only 1 in 600 incidents of fly-tipping lead to a prosecution
- The most common punishment is a fine of less than £430
- 997,553 incidents of illegal dumping in 2017-18
- Estimates of true costs of fly-tipping lie between £100m and £150m each year
What to do if it happens to you
The National Fly-tipping Prevention Group recommends the following steps if you find waste dumped on your land
- Exercise caution. Some fly-tipped waste can be hazardous. Do not open bags or drums and be aware that piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material.
- Record as many details as possible about the waste and when you found it. If possible take a photograph of the waste.
- Report the incident – do not move the waste or remove any evidence from it until the authorities have been notified.
- Secure the waste so that it cannot be interfered with or added to.
- Remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal – they are unlikely to welcome people observing them. Do not put yourself at risk – if fly-tipping is in progress, call 999.
- When arranging for disposal, ensure that you use a registered waste carrier, as if it is dumped elsewhere you could be held responsible and face an unlimited fine.
- Ensure that you get documentation which includes the details of the waste and who is taking it away.
- If you take the waste to a licensed waste site yourself, make sure you are registered as a waste carrier.
- If the waste is hazardous then make sure that it is being carried and disposed of by those licensed to deal with hazardous waste.
- Keep full details of your clearance and disposal costs. Successful prosecution can mean that your costs incurred for the removal of the waste can also be recovered.
Farmers can also use the NFU's Rural Crime Reporting Line, in partnership with Crimestoppers, to provide information about fly-tipping by calling 0800 783 0137.